Female Sonoran Carpenter Bee from Hawaii

bee identification
Location: Kamuela HI 96743
February 13, 2011 4:57 pm
Attached is a picture of a big black busy-but-calm nonthreatening bee that appears to be gathering pollen. Wings are bronze. Nearest I can figure from your photos is that it could be a valley carpentar bee.
Signature: Mickey Haag, Master Gardener

Female Sonoran Carpenter Bee

Dear Mickey,
Thank you for your patience.  Though we were unable to locate it on the Organisms of Hawaii website, we agree with you that this is a Carpenter Bee, but to the best of our knowledge, the Valley Carpenter Bee is not found on Hawaii.  We have found information on the Insects of Hawaii website that its relative, the Sonoran Carpenter Bee,
Xylocopa sonorina, is found on Hawaii, but the website only pictures a gold bee and often the males in this genus are golden in coloration.  We found a photo listed as a female Sonoran Carpenter Bee on Wikipedia, and it is black like your individual.

I understand.  I’ve used your website for several years and it’s the best.  When ever we visit relatives/friends they seem to have a ‘bug’ they want me to check out.  If I don’t have the answer you know you’re the site I go to.
Appreciate your limited staff.  Thank you for your site, if not a direct answer to my request!
Mickey Haag

Thank you so much for your quick response and proper identification.  After I emailed you, once again visited the 10-12 ft fence covered in flowering vines and hundreds of busy black bees, I saw a single golden fuzzy bee looking very much like the male valley carpenter bee pictured on your website.  Thanks a million for both  ID’s!  Mickey

Photo of author


BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

7 thoughts on “Female Sonoran Carpenter Bee from Hawaii”

  1. I just sprayed a large beetle bug on vines that are near a fence in my garden. While I was at it I sprayed a couple of honey bees that were near it. Within a second a couple of black bumble bees started advancing towards me and got me running. I returned to finish spraying the large beetle looking bug and noticed a large gold carpenter bumble bee and more black bumble bees that continued towards me when I returned. How do I get rid of them and are they always so aggressive? They actually scared me out of my garden for the day.

    • Why on earth would you want to destroy something that is so good for your garden and this planet? It is because of people like you, that our beautiful earth is being destroyed. Kill bees and you kill us.

      • I love these bees and I’m with you, Claire. Why people’s first thought to kill is beyond my comprehension. I got to watch two of them busily collecting pollen from my flowers today and considered it a rare treat. They seemed unaffected by my presence, but obviously knew I was within close range.


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